Monday, March 28, 2016

Even The President's Friends Think ISIS is More Important Than an Exhibition Baseball Game....And Tango Lessons...And Golf

In the past month or so, ISIS has unleashed a number of deadly attacks across the world: 
  • In late February, two ISIS bombs killed over 100 Iraqis.
  • Dozens of people died in two ISIS-related suicide bombers attacks over the past couple of months in Turkey.
  • And this past week, ISIS struck in the heart of Europe in Brussels, with two bombs going off at the airport and one going off in a train car, killing dozens and wounding over a hundred including Americans.
ISIS is on the move, spreading their violent wrath of terror and death across the Middle East and Europe. Innocent people are dying, fear is being spread, ISIS’s influence is growing in multiple countries and this week, President Obama:
  • Attended a meaningless baseball game in Cuba immediately after hearing of the death and carnage in Brussels.
  • In a political speech in Cuba, spent less than one minute discussing the major terror attacks in Brussels.
  • Flew to Argentina where he spent some time learning how to dance the tango as body parts were being cleaned up in Brussels.
  • He eventually returned to Washington DC where he decided going golfing would be a good thing to do.
I know I feel like many other Americans when I say that I was disgusted by this lack of compassion and concern of this President. Rather than showing any sympathy and concern immediately after the attacks, he was sitting in a baseball stadium doing the wave and laughing it up with Cuba’s Communist dictator. Despite having the information on the attack, he still allowed himself to be seen learning to dance the tango. Heartless behavior of a human being in my opinion, never mind the President of the United States.

But it is just not me that seems to have a problem with this behavior. His usually loyal political allies in the media and news industry also called him out for his cold heartedness:

- Veteran NBC newsboradcaster Tom Brokaw: “So much of politics and national security is a combination of symbolism and reality,” Brokaw said Wednesday. “The reality is that we did have that attack yesterday. It was unnerving to us, it was devastating in Europe.”

“But at the same time, the symbolism is that the president stayed at the baseball game all day long where you would have thought he would have said, ‘Look, we’ve got more business that I have to deal with, I wish you well,’ get on the phone. We’ve got to put together some kind of a bulletproof syndicate to deal with all this.”

“There’s a real urgency about it, and he has got to convey that, not just to the American people but to the world. I think it was Mike Hayden who said he is the leader of the free world, and this is the time to be the leader because this kind of attack can occur again and again and again.”

“This is the time to be the leader.”

- Democratic strategist David Gergen, speaking on CNN: “I think people now, after all the attacks, we’ve had an attack a day around the world for the last 12 days, but after San Bernardino and Paris and Brussels and Ankara and Istanbul, people are looking for more forceful action to actually drive back ISIS and right now, we’re not winning against ISIS.” 

“When you go to a baseball game, it looks a little frivolous.” When you’re dancing like that. I — I even think the hard call, he should have thought about coming back and gathering — people are looking for leadership here. I thinks that’s a critical issue for him. Restraint does not equal leadership when you’re under attack like this.”

- Co-host of the TV show, “The View,” Jedediah Bila (keep in mind that “the View” is usually a lovefest when it comes to President Obama): “He’s the leader of the free world … I want my president front and saying ‘Islamic extremism is at the root of this. ISIS claimed credit for this, and we are not going to take this. We are going to fight back.'” 

- Co-host of the TV show, “The View,” and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin: “Jed and I love each other and we don’t always agree. But when I saw President Obama … I didn’t not like seeing him do the wave in Cuba at a baseball game when Americans were injured and over thirty people were killed. You have to be a little more presidential acting than that because optics really matter.”

- MSNBC (keep in mind that MSNBC has also been an Obama cheerleader since day one of this administration) show host and commentator Chris Matthews: "I grew up in a big city, Philadelphia ... when there was a big fire, you want to see the mayor on the other curb, watching it. You want to see the police chief, standing there, the fire chief, you want to see them standing on the curb. You don't want to hear they phoned it in. The president was off base. He wasn't there. What could he have done better by taking a minute away from a baseball game? He had to do something."

- President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haas, speaking on MSNBC: “It’s fine to go to Argentina, you want to do the work. But you have to be careful of these, these little photo ops and optics. Baseball games and tangos, that’s inconsistent with the seriousness of the day.” 

When you long term political allies are saying you are not a leader, you are not Presidential, you are not serious, you are frivolous, etc, you know that you really screwed up. 

Maybe the best summary of this less than stellar performance comes from Fox News and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, never a fan of Obama, who probably summed up many Americans’ feelings best: “The increasing tempo and sophistication of its operations suggest that it may be poised for a continent-wide guerrilla campaign. In the face of this, Obama remains inert, unmoved, displaying a neglect and insouciance that borders on denial. His non-reaction to the Belgian massacre — his 34-minute speech in Havana devoted 51 seconds to Brussels — left the world as stunned as it was after the Paris massacre, when Obama did nothing.” 

Inert, unmoved, neglectful, non-reactionary, not Presidential. Unfortunately, we have a President who is either uncaring or one who has checked out already in the final year of his term. In either case, the world and the rest of us, including many of his political allies, are constantly disappointed by this President’s lack of compassion and inability to recognize “bad optics.” And in this world of a growing terrorist threat, our safety in his dispassionate or disinterested hands, a very scary proposition.

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